Prescription drug abuse is one of the most dangerous forms of addiction. In part, because it is so hard to spot. Doctors legally prescribe prescription drugs to millions of patients in the US, and they can quickly become addicted without anyone knowing, even themselves.
It has become much more common in recent decades. More than 6% of the US population use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons each year. The American health system is becoming increasingly under pressure, and doctors are prescribing more medication as a way to alleviate some of the burden. A rapid increase in the development of new medicines is only making the problem worse. With a 400% increase in prescribed medication over the last decade, it is no surprise that the prevalence of prescription drug addiction is growing.
What is prescription drug addiction?
Prescription drugs that commonly lead to addiction can range from opioids such as morphine to depressants such as Valium. A patient abuses prescription drugs when they take them in any way other than their doctor has prescribed. This, in turn, can result in addiction.
Addiction often arises when someone is prescribed a drug for painful symptoms like headaches or chronic pain. Taking the medication induces extremely positive effects such as effective pain relief, reduced stress levels, and feelings of euphoria. They begin to continually pursue these feelings by taking the drug ever more frequently. Over time, this leads to changes in the way their brain responds to the medication, as well as negative physical, psychological and behavioral withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it.
Addiction can lead to overdose and life-threatening health consequences. And it’s not only the user that is at risk. The addict’s behavior can also endanger family and close acquaintances.
How is prescription drug addiction treated?
If you recognize that you or a loved one are experiencing an addiction to prescription drugs, treatment should begin as soon as possible. The addict must first acknowledge they have a problem, which can sometimes take time. Once they have agreed to undergo treatment to help their addiction, they may check into a rehabilitation centre to begin their recovery.
Prescription drug addiction recovery begins with detoxification. This process flushes the addictive substances out of the patient’s body, laying the foundations for overcoming the physical addiction. Withdrawal symptoms will occur as a result of this process, but it will take place in a safe and supervised environment. Any health concerns will be monitored and treated. Once detoxification is complete, rehabilitation begins, to overcome the addiction and prevent future relapse. A drug abuse treatment program will help the patient via therapy, education and peer support.
After rehab, the patient should be prepared to reenter everyday life. The lessons and coping strategies they have learned along the way will set them on a course for long term recovery.
How can we help you fight addiction?
Prescription drug addiction has far-reaching effects for the user as well as their family and friends. If you, or a loved one, are addicted to prescription drugs and could benefit from addiction treatment in Indiana, Evolve Indy can help. Evolve Indy is a recovery treatment centre in Indianapolis, Indiana for adults recovering from addiction. It offers focused addiction recovery programs, including partial hospitalization, outpatient addiction treatment, an intensive outpatient program (IOP), and family therapy.
Get in touch now to find out more.